Today’s announcement by Minister Fletcher is an important step by the Commonwealth Government in improving rail connections between cities and surrounding regional areas, as well as recognising the safety and efficiency benefits that can be delivered through improvements to existing rail infrastructure.
“The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) strongly supports rail optimisation as a concept and is keen to reinforce to governments the value in upgrading existing freight and passenger networks,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“The ARA has been working on behalf of our members to inform Government’s thinking on the importance of faster rail networks and the potential benefits these will provide for Australian regions.
“The ARA welcomes the news that three proposals have been selected for further business case development and we look forward to working with governments on these important initiatives.
“Incremental improvements to existing freight and passenger rail infrastructure to allow increased train speeds will provide a better rail service for Australian rail customers.
“Rail optimisation projects that enhance the existing rail networks such as upgraded signalling systems to run trains closer together and track upgrades to facilitate greater total axle load limits will allow Australia’s rail networks to meet the increasing needs of our growing population.
“Efficient public transport systems are vital to the productivity of and success of our cities and urban centres. Our cities drive the economy and wealth of the nation.
“Our cities and regions will only continue to prosper with continued improvements and expansion of existing public transport systems and seamless integration with alternative modes of public transport,” concluded Danny Broad.
Today’s announcement by Minister Fletcher confirms Commonwealth support for business case development for the NSW Government proposal for Sydney to Newcastle; Consolidated Land and Rail Australia’s proposal for Melbourne to Greater Shepparton and the North Coast Connect consortium’s proposal for Brisbane and the regions of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.